The answer simply comes down to time and money required to achieve an effective social media presence. If your employees are not fully booked, you have the funds to train them and their time is better spent engaging customers online than taking care of another aspect of your business, than your soon-to-be in house social media team is the answer. Of course, those you plan to train to take on the social media effort should have some idea of the Internet and social networks and require a limited amount of time to learn the tricks of the online world. In this scenario, training from an expert is paramount. It might cost you, but it is a lot faster and yields better results than throwing your staffers in the lake and expecting them to learn swimming on their own.
On the other hand, if you have no people to spare and bringing on more personnel to train makes is not a smart business move, an agency or freelancer is a better solution. They already know the tools and etiquette of the trade and have relevant experience in social media marketing and public relations. They will need some training from you on products, values, and business processes to engage in social media activities that best fit your company’s purposes.
The trick with outsourcing social media efforts is that your business has to be in constant contact with the agency or freelancer handling your online presence. They need frequent updates on new launches, industry events and new people promoting your brand. They also need a direct line to those able to provide answers to questions sent via social networks.
They might be the first to find out about software crashes or other crises, they might be required to provide in-depth information on your products or services, they might receive sales inquiries. And the rule is the online world hasn’t got a lot of patience. They reach out on Facebook, Twitter or your blog because they want a quick reply. The experts handling your social media accounts should be able to get relevant information and support in a couple of hours during business hours and a maximum of 20 hours if their enquiry comes in when there’s no one in your office.
Whoever you choose, your social media presence needs the same amount of effort, dedication and consistency. And most of all, your choice has to be smart and profitable. To make sure you pick a winner, pay attention to the cost of time and do not ignore it when deciding.